Good News Agency – Year II, n° 17



Weekly - Year II, number 17 –  26 October 2001

Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi, Ph. D.

Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000.           

Good News Agency carries positive and constructive news from all over the world relating to voluntary work, the work of the United Nations, non governmental organizations, and institutions engaged in improving the quality of life – news that doesn’t “burn out” in the space of a day.

Good News Agency is distributed through Internet to over 2,400 editorial offices of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations with an e-mail address in 46 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Finland, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway,  Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA, and it is also available in its web site:

It is a free of charge service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered non-profit educational organization chartered in Italy in 1979. The Association operates for the development of consciousness and supports the activities of the Lucis Trust, the Club of Budapest, the Earth Charter, Radio For Peace International and other organizations promoting a culture of peace in the ‘global village’ perspective based on unity within diversity and on sharing.          Via Antagora 10, 00124 Rome, Italy. E-mail:



International legislation


Energy and safety


Human rights


Science and technology


Economy and development


Environment and wildlife




Culture and education







International legislation



High-level meeting on gender responsive budgets Bruxelles, 16-17 October

In support of a global vision that all countries commit to undertaking a gender responsive budget initiative by 2015, the Government of Belgium is hosting a High Level conference in Brussels on 16-17 October 2001 sponsored by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Government of Italy, UNIFEM, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the International Development Research Centre.

Gender responsive budget initiatives refers to a gender analysis of government budget policies and allocations. The goal is to mobilize political and financial support to meet the increasing demand from governments as well as civil society organizations to strengthen capacity to carry out these initiatives. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Villagomez, Economic Governance Advisor, at 


General conference to focus on cultural diversity, bioethics and education for all

Paris, October 12  - A new legal instrument designed to safeguard cultural diversity in the age of globalization, the preparation of new legal instruments on ethical issues relating to the gene revolution and the international drive to provide universal access to quality basic education will be among the principal items on the agenda of the upcoming 31st session of the General Conference, UNESCOs supreme governing body, October 15 to November 3. Some 3,000 participants are expected to attend the General Conference, including several heads of state and close to 200 government ministers.

UNESCOs 188 Member States, gathered at the General Conference, will be invited to adopt a Declaration on Cultural Diversity to preserve human dignity and to defend and promote cultural diversity, along with an Action Plan for its implementation. It will be the first international instrument in this field. The Declaration aims to serve as a benchmark in the formulation of national cultural policies. It stresses the importance of greater co-operation between the countries of the North and developing nations and emphasizes the need to help the latter stimulate their cultural industries, organize viable local markets and obtain access to international distribution systems.() For the full text of the Declaration:

More information about the General Conference, including its agenda and documents, can be found on the Web:


Making the International Criminal Court a reality

Human Rights Watch

On October 3, the Central African Republic became the forty-first country to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. We are now over two thirds of the way towards the 60 ratifications required to make the court a reality. The International Criminal Court will complement existing national judicial systems. It will be a permanent tribunal that will investigate and prosecute those individuals accused of crimes against humanity, genocide, and crimes of war.



Human rights



West Africa: Officials to discuss ways to fight human trafficking, 21-27 October

13 October - A week-long meeting to discuss ways of combating human trafficking and corruption is due to open on 21 October in Ghana's capital, Accra, an official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) told IRIN on Tuesday. The meeting, organised by ECOWAS and the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, will also examine measures to end drug trafficking and money laundering, which go hand in hand with terrorism, PANA reported.

Meanwhile the Nigerian Senate's committee on women's affairs and youth has announced that it will hold public hearings to investigate child labour, sex trading and other forms of exploitation to which minors are subjected, AFP reported on Sunday. (…)


Chile first in Latin America to launch Global Compact

10 October - More than 350 participants from government, civil society and the private sector joined in a seminar on corporate social responsibility last week in Santiago to start implementing the Global Compact, making Chile the first Latin American country to do so.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan introduced the compact in 1999, calling on business leaders to embrace its nine principals upholding human rights, labour rights and environmental responsibility to make globalization work for all the world's people.

UNDP Chile and Fundación PROHumana organized the seminar and have promoted the Global Compact over the past 18 months through round tables with business, civil society and government. (…) A next step is to follow up on the suggestion by Chilean business leaders to set up a learning network on corporate social responsibility. The network would include a service center to support initiatives, as well as tools such as criteria for corporate social responsibility activities, an inventory of activities and documentation of best practices.


Agreement to end child labour on cocoa farms

Geneva 1st October - The International Labour Organization (ILO) today welcomed the agreement between two members of the U.S. Congress and representatives of the world chocolate industry to eliminate child slavery on West African cocoa plantations and end the worst forms of child labour in the global cocoa-chocolate sector.

"This is another step forward to eradicating everywhere the exploitation of children in the work place," said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. "The ILO - through its International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) - and all the others involved in this new initiative is delighted at the outcome."

The "Harkin-Engel Protocol", named after U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Elliott Engel who spearheaded talks with the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the World Cocoa Foundation, resulted in the agreement being signed in Washington to better identify and address abusive child labour practices in the cocoa-growing areas of West Africa. (…)



Economy and development



Biennial FAO Conference – Rome, 2-13 November

Rome, 22 October - On World Food Day the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations announced his decision to seek a postponement of the”World Food Summit: five years later”, scheduled for 5-9 November 2001, in view of the current international situation. At the end of this month, the FAO Council is expected to decide on a new date in 2002. Meanwhile, the biennial FAO Conference will proceed as planned at FAO Headquarters in Rome from 2-13 November.


Mali: ADF support for rural development

13 October - The African Development Fund (ADF) has approved a loan of some US $19.68 million for a project to support rural development in Mali's Mopti region, the African Development Bank (ADB) said in a news release on Wednesday. The project seeks to improve food security and reduce poverty by diversifying and increasing agricultural production and promoting income-generating activities, the ADB reported. The project also hopes to help put in place basic social infrastructure, including boreholes and latrines, and build the operational and institutional capacity of the Mopti Rice Authority, the ADB reported. The ADF is the small-loans branch of the ADB group.


UNCTAD report on the Palestinian economy reasserts interdependence of development and peace

The widespread economic crisis that has crippled the Palestinian economy since October 2000 provides the focus for the UNCTAD secretariat's annual report on UNCTAD's assistance to the Palestinian people (TD/B/48/9). The report, to be reviewed by the Trade and Development Board (1-12 October), examines the impact of the Palestinian economic crisis in the context of structural constraints and imbalances. While recognizing the development challenges which the crisis poses for Palestinian Authority economic policymakers, the secretariat reasserts ''confidence in the realistic hopes for a better development future for the Palestinian people". (…)

Referring to a recent quantitative investigation by the secretariat, the report underscores the possibility of setting the economy on a sustainable development path through responsive policies, which target long-standing structural weaknesses. The secretariat assessment concludes that "following a decade of economic crises and recoveries, high expectations and unmet promises, the recent crisis has in fact reaffirmed the strong interdependence between development and peace". (…)


Bolivian communities' premium coffee finds markets in Japan

12 October - Four Andean communities in Bolivia are taking a big step into the international gourmet coffee market, and women are in the forefront of this venture that is improving local livelihoods.

With support from UNDP, the state of La Paz, and the Government of Japan, the small-scale coffee growers in the communities are producing premium quality Bolivian Mojsa ("delicious" in the Aymara language) high mountain coffee for markets in Tokyo and Nagoya.

The communities of Calama, Coroico, Chijchipani and Ulyunense are nestled in tropical highland valleys. With the help of coffee experts from Colombia, they have transformed local growing and processing methods to bring out the full potential of their unique environment in producing the highest quality coffee beans. Instead of intensive cultivation with 10,000 trees per hectare, for example, the communities grow only 1,500 trees per hectare in harmony with the fragile ecosystem, shaded by the tropical forest and usually shrouded by fog. (…)

The project began in Calama with support from the UNDP special unit for Technical Cooperation among Development Countries. With its expansion to three neighbouring communities, about 2000 families are producing Mojsa coffee. () The project, which is cooperating with Bolivia's National Association of Coffee Exporters (ANDAC), is also seeking new international markets.


Switzerland renews support for multifunctional platform in Mali

11 October - The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation is supporting the second phase of a project in Mali promoting the multifunctional platform -- a diesel-powered system that relieves village women of burdensome tasks and offers new opportunities to generate income.

Switzerland is providing US$1.5 million for the three-year initiative (). The platform can power various tools, including a grain mill, husker, power saw and other carpentry tools, oil press, water pump, welder, and electric power generator.

The project has installed 65 platforms in villages in the Bougouni, San, Sikasso and Mopti regions. The next phase aims to multiply that number several fold, and the project is also introducing the platform in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal. The project works with local women's associations, providing training in using the platform and managing its business operations. As an added boost to village enterprises, the project also trains local mechanics and electricians to maintain and repair the platform.


IFAD to support natural resource project in Republic of Bolivia

Rome, 5 October - The Management of Natural Resources in the Chaco and High Valley Regions Project will receive a USD 12 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). A loan agreement was signed today at the Funds Headquarters by Mr. David Blanco Zabala, Ambassador of the Republic of Bolivia to Italy and Mr. Lennart Båge, President of the Fund. () The project aims at reducing rural poverty, natural resource deterioration and desertification through the enhanced capacity of beneficiaries to significantly improve their economic standing and the value of their productive assets. Expected results from the project include improved natural resources and enhanced capacity of small farmers to manage them rationally and in a sustainable manner, and access to rural non-financial services. The project will also operate a contest/award scheme based on IFADs prior experiences in the highlands of Peru. Families, groups, communities and organizations will contest with others from similar ecological and/or productive environments, creating a competitive spirit with regard to environmental management and conservation.

With this programme, IFAD has financed a total of 9 Projects in the Republic of Bolivia, for a total loan amount of approximately USD 81 million.


$7 million grant from Islamic Development Bank through the World Bank to support Palestinian economy

Ramallah, October 1 - The World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) today signed a grant agreement in the amount of US$7 million for the Emergency Response Program, which is designed to help offset the effects of the current economic crisis in the West Bank & Gaza (WBG). This grant is part of a total allocation of US$20 million the IDB has committed to employment generation programs in the health, education and infrastructure sectors. (…)

The Emergency Response Program, initiated in December 2000 by the World Bank, will aim to alleviate hardships for thousands of families through the provision of employment for unskilled and semi-skilled laborers. Local suppliers and contractors will also benefit through the increased demand for materials and works.


Cleaner production in Bangalore

A Focus article in the Bangalore Deccan Herald gives many good reasons for small and medium scale industries to have a closer look at Cleaner Production. Headlined as "A cleaner way to savings" the article focuses on the activities of the Karnataka Cleaner Production Centre (KCPC) which was set up as the south's first regional cleaner production centre in November 1997. India's National Cleaner Production Centre is in New Delhi, other centres are in Gujarat, West Bengal and Punjab.

The decision to set up the National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPC) Programme in was made by UNIDO and UNEP in1994. Since then, twenty-one NCPCs have been established.  Of these, ten are fully established and receive no further programmatic funding from UNIDO (Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Mexico, Slovakia, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zimbabwe), while nine are still in the process of being built up (Costa Rica, Croatoa, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Viet Nam), and two will be established in late 2001 (the Republic of Korea and in Uganda). (…)






West Africa: MRU humanitarian victims receive aid

13 October - The European Commission (EC) has adopted a global plan worth euro 5.1 million (about US $4.7 million) for victims of the "continuing humanitarian crisis" in the countries of the Mano River Union, the EC Humanitarian Aid Office, ECHO, reported. The targeted beneficiaries are refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Guinea hosts an estimated 200,000 refugees from Sierra Leone while there are up to 30,000 Guinean IDPs, ECHO said.


WFP steps up food deliveries into Afghanistan

Rome, 10 October The United Nations World Food Programme plans a major acceleration of its overland deliveries into Afghanistan with food aid convoys scheduled to cross the border into the war- and drought-ravaged country from Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.

The convoys will be carrying a collective total of 3,285 metric tonnes of food aid enough to feed almost 700,000 hungry Afghans for one week. The food will raise the total food stocks inside of Afghanistan to over 12,000 tonnes, sufficient for the needs of over 3.4 million people for one week. However, distribution networks have been disrupted and must first be rebuilt. (…)


Angola: Nutrition levels stabilise in some areas – OCHA

5 October - Morbidity and mortality rates remained high in many parts of Angola in August, but nutrition levels stabilised in areas where humanitarian partners had sustained access and where food security interventions continued, OCHA said in its latest monthly analysis. OCHA said nutrition levels in Kuito, the capital of Bie province, had stabilised in August. Tens of thousands of people fleeing fighting around the central highlands province began converging on Kuito early this year, most of them ill and in states of severe malnutrition. Mortality rates in the town dropped from 17 percent in June to 8.3 percent in July, OCHA said. (…)






Africa: continental campaign against sleeping sickness

13 October - Burkina Faso's prime minister, Ernest Paramanga Yonly, launched a campaign on 5 October to eradicate the tsetse fly and sleeping sickness from Africa in the next five years. The Pan African Tsetse Fly and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) was launched at a five-day meeting in Ouagadougou, attended by some 300 scientists from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.

According to WHO, 60 million people are at risk in 37 countries while 300,000 are already infected. It says 25,000 people die every year and the situation is worsening because 40,000 persons are infected annually. Rural and agricultural development also suffers as a result of the tsetse fly. It attacks animals, leading to reduced meat and milk production which increases the risk of famine and a further descent into poverty.


South Africa: GlaxoSmithKline grants licence to local drug firm

13 October - Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) had granted a South African company a licence to manufacture and market three key AIDS medicines in South Africa, the company announced on Sunday. Aspen Pharmacare CEO Stephen Saad, told PlusNews on Monday that his company had been granted a voluntary licence on patents to GSK's antiretroviral drugs AZT and 3TC, and a third pill, Combivir, which combines the two. He said the company would be allowed to sell its versions of the widely-used AIDS drugs to the public health system, charities and non-profit organisations in South Africa, while GSK continued to supply private markets. Other countries in Africa were not part of the deal.

GSK was one of several pharmaceutical companies which took the South African government to court to prevent it from passing a law which would enable the import and manufacture of cheaper generic drugs. The companies dropped the lawsuit in the face of immense public pressure.


Mozambique granted US $11.5 million for AIDS programme

13 October - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has granted US $11.5 million dollars to Mozambique for an anti-HIV/AIDS programme, AFP reported on Tuesday. The programme, called the Development Corridor of Hope, will involve individuals and communities living along the Maputo Development Corridor - a key road and rail link between South Africa and Mozambique – in the distribution of information designed to combat HIV/AIDS and encourage safe sexual practices, the report said. (…)


World AIDS campaign: men key to reducing HIV/AIDS

New campaign targets widely held beliefs about masculinity

Melbourne, 7 October  - This year's World AIDS Campaign will chip away at masculine behaviours and attitudes that contribute to the spread of HIV, according to Dr Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). "Part of the effort to curb the AIDS epidemic must include challenging negative beliefs and behaviours, including the way men view risk and how boys are socialized to become men," said Dr Piot. (…)

The new Campaign aims to involve men, particularly young men, more fully in the effort against AIDS. It also aims to bring about a much-needed focus on men in national responses to the epidemic and to involve leaders both as politicians and as individuals in taking action against AIDS. (…)

Although men need to be encouraged to adopt positive behaviours and to play a much greater part in caring for their partners and families, prevention programmes aimed at women and girls continue to be essential. The World AIDS Campaign aims to complement these programmes and promote a focus on gender awareness and sensitivity for both sexes.



Energy and safety



Tanzania: World Bank approves $183 million credit for Gas Power Development

Washington, October 10 - The World Bank has approved the Songo Songo Gas Development and Power Generation Project for Tanzania. The $183 million interest-free credit from the International Development Association, the World Bank's lending arm for the poorest countries, will catalyze foreign private investment aimed at developing Tanzania's natural gas reserves to produce least-cost power generation for domestic and industrial use in an environmentally sustainable and efficient manner.

The project involves the development of a gas gathering system at Songo Songo Island, the construction of a 25 km marine pipeline and a 217 km land pipeline to Dar es Salaam and Wazo Hill. The gas will be transported to an existing thermal power station, which will be converted to gas-firing and privatized. (…)



Science and technology



Biogas and clean water for women in Viet Nam

A team of scientists and development specialists is helping women in rural and mountainous areas in Viet Nam take advantage of science and technology to improve their lives, promote equality and reduce poverty. Two projects, one promoting biogas as an alternative energy source and the other providing access to clean water, are examples of how technology can be used by and for women. The team, from the ministry of science, technology and environment, is headed by deputy director, Dr. Tran Xuan Dinh. It is participating in a regional assessment on women and technology carried out by the Asia Pacific Gender Equality Network (APGEN) and the UNESCO South-east Asia regional office for science and technology.



Environment and wildlife



One of the world's most famous rivers, the Yangtze, set for pioneering flood reduction plan

Beijing/Nairobi, 12 October  - A multi-million dollar bid to reduce the risk of devastating floods on one of the world's mightiest rivers, the Yangtze, has been drawn up by scientists. The ambitious scheme, the brainchild of researchers in China and at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), aims to restore thousands of lost lakes and natural drainage systems so that the river, whose banks and basins are home to 400 million people, can cope better during times of heavy and prolonged rains.

Studies, carried out by UNEP in the wake of the devastating floods of 1998 in which millions were made homeless, thousands were killed and economic losses from industries such as agriculture totaled $31 billion, have found that siltation of the river has also made it far more vulnerable to flooding. The project plans to restore natural forests, grasslands and other key habitats in the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze to reduce soil erosion and soil sweeping into the river. (…)


Australia cleans up its Antarctic research base

12 October - Urging other countries to follow its lead, Australia began a massive cleanup of its Antarctic research base today.  As many as 330,000 tons of waste, the detritus of decades of research and exploration, is strewn over the otherwise pristine environment of Antarctica.  The waste includes chemicals, batteries, oils, and building materials.  Australia contracted a French company to haul its waste back home, and has offered to let other nations use any remaining space in the garbage containers to clean up their acts as well.


Progress made towards reducing risks of pesticides and industrial chemicals in developing countries

Rome, 11 October - Officials from over 100 governments are meeting here this week (8-12 October) to prepare for the entry into force of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC) for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade and to oversee the implementation of the voluntary interim PIC procedure.

The Rotterdam Convention contributes to the reduction of the risks associated with the use of chemicals, particularly in developing countries, and limits the introduction of hazardous chemicals and pesticides into countries that cannot safely manage them.  (…)

The Rotterdam Convention was adopted and signed by Ministers and senior officials on 11 September 1998 in Rotterdam. It has received 73 signatures and has thus far been ratified by 16 governments; it will enter into force 90 days after the 50th ratification. (…)


Canada: search for power supply from the ocean

9 October - The ocean may supply Canada with power for the first time if the Canadian company B.C. Hydro proceeds with plans to build wave-energy plants in British Columbia.  Although a few such plants exist in Europe and others are being tested in Washington state, the ocean is a relatively untapped energy source.  The Canadian plants would produce between three and four megawatts of electricity, enough to power up to 4,000 homes.  B.C. Hydro will make a final decision on the plants in November.



Båge calls on UNCCD COP V to urgently increase financial support for combating desertification

Rome, 8 October - Lennart Båge, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, this afternoon, addressed the Fifth session of Conference of Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) that is meeting in Geneva.

In his statement to the high level segment of the COP V, he reaffirmed IFAD's commitment to implement the goals of the Convention. In reference to the current global economic shocks, Båge urged member nations to strengthen the UNCCD and the Global Mechanism (GM) with additional resources for effective implementation of their objectives. IFAD hosts the GM of the UNCCD and has committed to date USD 5 million towards its activities. (…)

Desertification threatens the livelihoods of 1 billion people, particularly in the rural areas of the world. Over 630 million poor rural people live at risk in areas suffering from severe water stress: 375 million of these people are in Asia alone. Solutions to this daunting problem are embodied in the UNCCD. (…) Over the past 23 years, IFAD has committed in total over USD 3.5 billion to support dry land development and combat land degradation throughout the world. 70% of IFAD-supported projects are located in ecologically fragile, marginal environments. (…)



Culture and education



International Ombudsman Centre for the Environment and Development starts operations

On the basis of the studies commissioned by the Earth Council, the experience of the World Conservation Union - IUCN- in environmental mediation, and the mandate of the United Nations University for Peace, the ombudsman initiative has gained considerable momentum of late. This newly created entity, the International Ombudsman Centre for the Environment and Development, or “OmCED”, is an important step forward in the follow-up to both the Stockholm and Rio Conferences. OmCED will in this inception phase work in close cooperation with its founding organisations, as well as with the staff of the University.

At the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992, a consensus emerged as to the need for a more effective means of preventing and resolving disputes arising from environmental, natural resources and sustainable development issues. The Earth Council, a global non-governmental organisation formed as a result of the Earth Summit to follow up and implement its results, undertook to investigate the feasibility of establishing a mechanism to meet this need.

Two important studies, conducted in 1996 and 1998 by two specialized independent institutes, provided the Earth Charter with positive research evidence. The Earth Council carried out extensive consultations, which resulted in a decision by the Earth Council at its meeting in 1998 to proceed with the design of an “ombudsman” function. Subsequently, two other organisations with relevant experience and interests in the field, including mediation of conflicts, IUCN and the UN University for Peace became partners, each in its own way, to the initiative. IUCN is the world’s foremost international conservation organisation and has an extensive network of governmental and non-governmental members throughout the world. The University for Peace was established and mandated by the UN General Assembly to undertake studies and programs which support the peace and security objectives of the UN Charter and inter alia focuses on environmental and natural resources issues and conflict resolution.

The relationship of OmCED with its two co-founding organisations - the Earth Charter and IUCN -  is significant to better understand the role of OmCED. IUCN has a long history of involvement with investigating conflictive issues, alerting actors to potential contentious results of their actions and creating opportunities for mediation and problem solving. The Earth Council, through its link with UNCED and its unique constituency, has been playing an increasingly crucial role in advancing the cause of sustainable development. To have these two organisations act as co-founders of an objective international mechanism of this nature was determinant in carrying the initiative forward and actually merging some of their functions. And the fact that the United Nations University for Peace has shown a keen interest in the initiative and has offered its campus for OmCED’s headquarters, thus allowing for the creation, over time, of a ‘critical mass’ of expertise, was also an important factor leading up to the launching of OmCED.  (S.T.)



Costa Rica - Peace Studies and Peace Journalism

Radio For Peace International and the International Center for Human Rights in Media present a 10 week study course dealing with social justice, human rights, ethics in journalism, history of racism and xenophobia in media, researching and documenting intolerance in media, researching and preparing articles for publication, radio and news production with elective Spanish language training.  Students live with a Costa Rican host family.  Four overnight excursions, special activities included.  Session start dates for 2002: Jan 6, March 24, June 9, September 1. 

IPC, SBO 66, P.O. Box 025292, Miami, FL  33102.  Tel: +506-205-9092, FAX: +506-249-1095


Interactive Workshop On Racism In Media

A two day workshop presented at your location by the International  Center for Human Rights in Media dealing with extreme hate groups (Nazis, skinheads, white supremacists, violent homophobes, etc.), their use of media and the internet to proliferate their messages of hate internationally, the provocation of violence and terrorism resulting from hate and intolerance, and how individuals, communities and educators can respond.  For more information on how to bring this workshop to your college, university, organization or community contact Gilbert Carmichael, Tel: +506-205-9092, FAX: +506-249-1095, e-mail:


Benin: Church organisation targets girls' education

13 October - The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has embarked on a one-year project which hopes to improve long-term food security in Benin by promoting the education of some 10,000 rural primary school students. Under the project, funded with over US $1 million by the United States Department of Agriculture, CRS and its local partner, the Global Food for Education Initiative, will expand the formal education programme to about 60 new schools in the impoverished northern regions of Benin. The project aims to establish community-run canteens and a facility for girls to receive take-home rations to increase their participation in primary education.


Children orphaned by AIDS gain schooling in Burkina Faso

11 October - In Burkina Faso, 3,500 children orphaned by AIDS began school this week, thanks to a pilot project supported by the National HIV/AIDS Commission, UNDP and several donors.

The project is assisting children from 40 local associations in 17 provinces around the country. France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States are contributing to the US$70,000 project. (…)

The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that more than 200,000 children in Burkina Faso have lost their mother or both parents to AIDS.

Burkina Faso, under the aegis of UNDP, held its first round table on HIV/AIDS in June, raising pledges of more than $100 million from donors, including governments, international organizations and the private sector. On the basis of this support, the government and its partners are developing several major programmes.


Democracy networks in the Middle East and North Africa

11 October - The World Movement Web site has launched a new section for the Middle East and North Africa. The section provides links to existing networks in the Middle East and North Africa region, including the Middle East Network for Democracy (MEND), which emerged from the Second Assembly of the World Movement in Sao Paulo last November. It also includes information about organizations participating in the World Movement in the region, participants' activities and projects, publication and research materials, potential funding sources, and useful links.


Tanzania: World Bank approves Primary Education Project

Washington, October 10 - The World Bank has approved the Primary Education Development Program Project Adjustment Credit for Tanzania. The $150 million interest-free credit from the International Development Association, the World Bank's lending arm for the poorest countries, will support efforts by the government of Tanzania to improve education quality, expand school access, and increase school retention at the primary level. The PEDP will introduce measures to increase resource availability and improve their allocation and utilization; improve educational inputs; and strengthen institutional arrangements that ensure quality primary education. (…)


Political participation of Timorese women

9 October - In preparation for the East Timor elections, 145 women were trained in the electoral process in workshops organized by UNIFEM and the Gender Affairs Unit (GAU) of UNTAET. Twenty-six registered as candidates and one was successfully elected.  Some of the UNIFEM-trained women who decided not to run for office formed a Women’s Political Caucus, which actively supported all women candidates for election, regardless of party affiliation. (…)

Another group, GOMUTIL, or Group of Women Observers East Timor formed with support from The Asia Foundation included at least another ten of the women trained in the UNIFEM-GAU workshops. Among these women were the President and Secretary of GOMUTIL.  Some of the women trained were also selected by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to become official observers. (…) For further information, please contact Lorraine Corner, Regional Programme Director for East and South-East Asia, at


Workplan to support women in Chinese  village polls

9 October - In Linqu County, Shandong Province, UNIFEM provided gender analysis training to representatives of 26 agencies which comprise the Working Committee on Women and Children—the national women’s machinery at the county level. (…) After discussing factors affecting women’s political participation in the county, a six-month workplan was drawn up to prepare village women in five pilot villages for the upcoming village elections.

A baseline survey on rural women’s political and economic participation will be conducted as part of the project. Gender and empowerment training will be given to the women in the five pilot villages. Study tours will be held to model counties to learn good practices in promoting women’s political participation at the grassroots level. The County Programme for the Development of Women – local version of the national action plan, the National Programme for the Development of Chinese Women – will be drafted and finalized. For more information, please contact Lanyan Chen, Gender Advisor for Northeast Asia, at


FAO celebrates 53rd annual Prix Italia: awards documentary on fight against AIDS in South Africa

Bologna, 5 October 2001 -- Recognizing the power of the media to invoke social change, Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), awarded the first ever FAO/Prix Italia Special Award for a documentary on the battle to fight AIDS in South Africa.

Dr. Diouf presented the award to the producer and co-director Jacqueline Fox of the South African Broadcasting Corporation for a documentary entitled "Together We Can: South Africa's Youth Against AIDS." The programme was inspired by the death of Nkosi Johnson, a young boy who became a national symbol of hope in the fight against AIDS. It focuses on the way schoolchildren, the government, non-governmental organizations and the rural community, are fighting to contain the spread of HIV and AIDS in the country. (…)


Arab Gulf Development Programme (AGFUND) and UNESCO to launch Arab Open University

Paris, October 5 - An Arab Open University, designed to meet a shortage in university places in the Arab region and improve womens access to higher education, is to start operating in October 2002. Focusing initially on courses in business administration, computer science and technology, English, and teacher training, the Open University will be headquartered in Kuwait with branches in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.

The project for an Arab Open University was initiated by the President of the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND), Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who signed a co-operation agreement on the project with UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura in Paris today.

AGFUND will provide over US$1.5 million for the Arab Open University - covering approximately half its total cost - with an initial allotment of US$200,000 to UNESCO to fund the Organizations contribution to the project. UNESCOs input will notably centre on developing the universitys strategy for distance higher education, setting up a distance learning centre, multimedia production, satellite network and videoconferencing, virtual library, recruitment of experts and staff training. (…)

Since its creation in 1982, AGFUND has provided funding to over 600 United Nations projects, including more than 60 UNESCO projects.

For more information:



* * * * * * *



Next issue: 16 November 2001